Kira smiled at the stocky man across the table.
“Many greetings within the day, my Lady,” Salu told her and smiled back. But the smile never touched his eyes as they rested on her.
“Although I cannot tell exactly where Styria is, I am willing to wager it is in Basalan.” Kira lifted an eyebrow questioningly.
Salu nodded. “You have the right of it, my Lady and yes,” his smile defrosted, “I know it was my greeting that gave me away. I am of southern Basalan.”
The sense of pride in his voice was evident.
“Tell me, Lord Keeper, what exactly does a Keeper of Documents do?”
Salu took a deep breath to prepare him for a thorough explanation but he was cut off by Aran.
“Please, Lady Kira! Be careful of such questions, we will never find our beds if Salu gets a chance to answer them.”
The men at the table chuckled while Salu’s cheeks coloured. The cold returned to his gaze as he answered curtly.
“I keep documents.”
Laughter greeted his answer and Kira suppressed a smile. She did not want to antagonise the Keeper. After all, a man who knew about documents could be of great use to her.
“Do you have records on all documents kept here?” she asked when the laughter had died down.
“Indeed so, my Lady. I do not only record all documents, I record everything that is written in the Library. I can find any book or document if it resides here.”
Salu’s answer was stiff but again, the pride shone through it. The man clearly loved what he did.
“The Library could not function without our Keeper.”
The man on Salu’s left put in the quiet statement. Kira saw the quick exchange of glances between the two men but felt that the nuances escaped her.
Rannol took the intervention as his cue and returned to his role as host.
“This, my Lady, is Maluk and without him, well…. any dinner would be less pleasant.”
Rannol and Maluk shared a smile.
“Rannol will need some time to adjust to our new relationship,” Maluk grinned. “he used to be my pupil.”
Go to part 9: Maluk and Companion